Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin spiced chai latte. Pumpkin bread. PUMPKIN BEER!
There are countless ways that people are using pumpkin. We all are obsessed and love the flavor, but what about the benefits? Do you know how nutritious pumpkin actually is? If not — read below, it’s quite surprising and exciting! (As if we needed another excuse to eat this delicious melon!)
1. Vitamin A — Pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your daily recommended requirements of Vitamin A (which is a key nutrient in eye health). Vitamin A also improves your immune system!
2. Rich in fiber — Pumpkin packs a TON of fiber. It contains three grams per one cup serving and is only 50 calories! Eating more fiber in your diet can also help you feel fuller longer, which can contribute to weight loss!
3. Packed with protein — One ounce of pumpkin seeds contain SEVEN grams of protein. They also contain healthy oil — phytosterols— which reduces blood cholesterol levels.
4. Essential Fatty Acids — Pumpkin seeds are also rich in fatty acids, which help fight against serious diseases, high blood pressure, arthritis and have even been shown to fight cancer. Fatty acids also improve brain power and promote healthy skin.
5. Vitamin C — Vitamin C helps our bodies fight free radicals, improve immunity and promotes the production of collagen!
6. Potassium & Zinc — Research shows that a diet loaded with potassium and zinc-rich foods can prevent the onset of some cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
7. Improves Mood — Yes, you read that right! Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is the ingredient in turkey that people often thinks makes them sleepy. Researchers agree that it’s not the turkey that induces a snooze-fest, it’s the over-eating. Tryptophan is an important amino acid in the production of serotonin, one of the major contributors to our mood.
8. Anti-inflammatory — Pumpkin contains beta carotene, which is known for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pumpkin can be a great alternative to anti-inflammatory medicines because it has been shown to provide relief from inflammation quickly, without any side effects!
9. Helps prevent kidney stones — 5 to 10 grams of pumpkin seeds every day have been shown to stimulate the kidneys and prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones.
10. High in Omega 3s — Everyone knows by now that Omega 3s are essential to brain functioning, among many other things.
Doesn’t it feel good to crave something that’s insanely healthy for you? What is your favorite way to use pumpkin?